Blowin' in the Wind(River): an India Design Centre

17th May 2011
Blowin' in the Wind(River): an India Design Centre
Wind River's Bangalore Conference vignettes: Jim Douglas ( left) & Joe Wlad ( photos: IndiaTechOnline)

Embedded and mobile software solutions leader Wind River  celebrated its 30th birthday last week by announcing  the formation of an India Design Centre focussed on its core markets in defence and aerospace. The announcement was made by the company’s Senior Vice-President (Corporate Marketing), Jim Douglas, during his opening talk at the Wind River annual conference in Bangalore. Wind River’s Country Manager (India) Venkatesh Kumaran, was quoted by Businessline earlier, saying the company would bring in technologies that cater to medical and mobile phone into India, in addition to its military focus.
In India since 1995, Wind River said India where it was “honoured to be trusted advisor to the Defence Research & Development Organisation”, would be the recipient of “major new strategic investment” in Asia, a region which already accounts for over 17 percent of its global business…  a number which it plans on upping to 25 percent over the next 5-6 years.
In his keynote, Joseph Wlad, Wind River’s Senior Director ( Aerospace and Defence Solutions), focussed on Wind River MILS (Multiple Independent Levels of Security), a software system architecture which provides a layered approach to meet security requirements. Using MILS, a system can host multiple applications on one processor -- Top secret, secret, unclassified -- as well as providing country-specific controls from a common platform. He also introduced the recently launched Wind River Linux Secure, which is the first commercial embedded Linux platform to achieve the Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4+ (EAL4+) certification, an Internationally defined way to evaluate the security of any IT product.

Wind River’s technology is used in more than 1 billion devices and systems, including many mission critical platforms like NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers to Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner, to London’s Underground trains. The company was founded in 1981 in a Berkeley, Calif., garage by a former Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory computer scientist, Jerry Fiddler, the name  derived from Wyoming’s Wind River mountain range. In 1987, Wind River introduced VxWorks, now the de facto real-time operating system (RTOS) for embedded devices. In 2004 Wind River embraced Open Source and entered the embedded Linux market, becoming the market leader within 4 years. It was acquired by Intel in 2009.

In India, Wind River tools and solutions have fuelled many frontline defence development platforms including the Akash surface to air missile, the Arjun main battle tank and the Saransh tactical combat system. The Strategic Electronics Division of Tata Power ( whose CEO Rahul Chaudhry was the Chief Guest at the Bangalore conferenc) has delivered many of these subsystems to the Indian defence forces. May 17 2011